It’s amazing how incredibly different two cats can be. Marla is our tough girl who likes every other animal she meets. It doesn’t matter if it is a crazy puppy (hello, Carlita) OR a new kitty , she wants to be FRIENDS. She wants to CUDDLE. She wants to BOND.
It seems that our meek little pussy cat JouJou is quite the opposite, and we feel, obviously full of self loathing as he seems to HATE any and all other cats. We can only assume it is because he doesn’t realize that he, himself, is actually a cat also.
Marla a.k.a. the queen of this here place (or any place) – she’s one fabulously furry feline who knows she’s the boss of everything and everyone.
JouJou a.k.a. the recluse – he’s one super scaredy cat who has staked his claim on the master bedroom. He hates cats, likes dogs and LOVES humans.
Oh, and Jouja has started peeing on EVERYTHING and it took me a WHILE to figure it out. I had a nasty stuffy nose for weeks and then one day, BOOM! my nose worked again! While took that first, blissful breath my nose immediately began flipping out. Watching TV in bed I turned to Rob and asked “why didn’t you tell me this place reeks of pee?” Apparently as a male he doesn’t have as strong of a sense of smell as me and didn’t know what I was talking about. Mostly. Maybe he realized it a little bit.
So I go on a rampage smelling everything. It turns out big boy is marking this bedroom as his territory with pee. He was peeing on the rug and in the pile of clothes Rob tossed on the sofa and in basket of my once clean clothes in the corner. I removed everything and cleaned everything and finally was able to fall asleep knowing that my house didn’t reek like a litter box anymore. But the thing is, he just kept doing it over and over and over again. I’d drop my nightgown in the hamper and he’d have peed on it within minutes. If it was soft and he could kick around at it he’s pee on it. I’d go to bed at night and catch a whiff of the scent and Rob would be wide awake as I had all of the lights on trying to root out the smell and remove it. This was NOT going to work.
Now I have to tell you one thing, it was never in our minds to re-home JouJou. He was acting out because things had changed drastically. He had a new home with 2 new dogs and a new person and now a new cat.
You have NO IDEA the sense of relief I had when I was contacted about trying out something called Feliway®. It is this cat pheromone type of thing that does so much… That package went straight from the delivery man’s hands to opened up on my desk in my office. In the time waiting for the package things had gotten worse. Marla, very interested in JouJou ran right up to him and he swiped her badly. And then he started marking the room with double the previous effort. Ugh.
Now there were two different diffuser plug-ins in my package one of which was the multi-cat formula. I decided to put the multi-cat in the main living area of the house and the other diffuser in the master bedroom.
I plugged those babies in, one right by the spot that JouJou had really taken to urinating in, and cleaned the HECK out of everything removing any trace of urine smell in that room.
To be honest, I can’t tell you when things began to change, we just noticed that they did. One day I noticed that there was a lot more to clean out of the litterbox and then I realized that was because the Joujamonster was peeing in the box instead of on our clothes! Huzzah!
Now in the box we also got this little blanket stuffed animal creature and a bottle of spray. I didn’t really get into that just yet instead putting all of my hopes on the diffusers. The box tossed on my desk it quickly was taken over by Marla.
One day, to see how it would work out I sprayed a bit of the mist onto her little purple kitty and the most interesting thing happened within days.
This box with this creature became Mar’s home base. Now this kitty is a thief, hardcore. She steals whatever and hides it. Back in the day it was always in the couch cushions but now this little box became her safe spot and I would dig out the things she stashed away in it every day. The spray seems to be such a comfort to her that I got an idea. I could make both Marla and JouJou their own calming kitty quilts and cat beds. I set about making Marla’s first just because it would wind up being hers anyway. She’s the boss of this joint and claims all the new things!
Rob and I went to town so I could buy some fabric to start on the bed when we spied this awesome yellow box on the shelf. Using my 40% off coupon I got it at a good price and was exceptionally happy that it matched the fabric I had already had cut to make her bed cover and quilt with.
I got that box and the queen did her thing undeterred by two very nosy dogs. The box was hers. And so I set about making it a bit more comfortable for her.
For this project you will need:
- Chair foam
- Tacky glue
- 3/4 yard fabric for quilt
- 1/2 yard fabric for mattress cover
- Matching thread
- Hot iron
- Sewing machine
My first instinct was to buy foam for a crib but even being 30% off it was $27!!! Um, no. Instead I pulled a package of 4 chair pads I had gotten for less than $5 on sale but never found a use for. Now the shape was too long in one direction and too short in the other. To fix that I cut my first piece of foam to fit the shorter length and made another one to match it.
I measured out the empty space left inside of the box and cut foam shapes in that size from one more of the cushions. Since I had one cushion left I promptly put it under my butt in my office chair. Comfy.
Using Tacky glue adhere the pieces together to make a mattress. Now you see how the smaller piece is to the left? On the bottom it’s to the right so that there is a bit more stability in the whole piece.
And if you’re wondering, Mar was cool with the new developments in her bed.
Next you’ll need to make a cover for your mattress. I had considered just gluing the fabric onto the mattress but I decided I wanted to be able to wash everything on occasion so a pillow case became the best option.
Take your fabric and on one of the long ends fold the fabric over twice. Iron in place and to form a nice, sharp crease.
Sew down the length of your fold and you have the hem for your pillowcase.
Making the cover inside out, place your foam mattress inside and use straight pins to make it fit with a little bit of wiggle room. Remove the piece from the foam mattress carefully (just like you would normally remove a pillowcase) sew down the side and top to finish up the pillow case shape.
Turn the case right side out and pull onto your foam mattress to cover. Pop into the bottom of your box and you’ve just made a cat bed!
Now the kitty quilt we are going to make is SUPER easy but your cat will LOVE it! Take 3/4 a yard of fabric and fold it in half down along the fold that’s already there from where it came off of the bolt. Hit it with a hot iron to smooth out any wrinkles. Go down the length and width sewing lines about the same distance apart, mine are about 5 inches. They don’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to backstitch. Just go across the length and width to make a grid. This basically ensures that the quilt will be able to lay flat.
Go around the outer edge of the fabric and trim it to make all of the sides flush. Go around 1 to 1.5 inches in from the edge stitching a square around the piece of fabric. Back stitch in the corners to reinforce.
Using very sharp scissors go around the outer edge and make lots of little cuts close to, but not on, the outer seam. You’re essentially making fringe. When you get to the corners simply cut a square away and keep fringing down the edge.
Toss your blanket into the washing machine and after a wash and dry the fringe will turn into a rag quilt edge. Nifty, eh?
Add a little bit of Feliway® spray on the kitty quilt and place the bed where you want kitty to sleep.
So that Marla would get used to the box I first kept it in my office, a place that JouJou never comes to. I wanted her to know that this was HER bed. Carlita the puppy didn’t get the memo that this was a KITTY QUILT :) but Mar did get used to her bed even when she had to share it!
Since the bedroom is JouJou’s domain, Marla has been sleeping all alone in the guest room and that makes me SO SAD. The first 2 nights she slept cozied up to me but soon it wasn’t her territory anymore so she rarely came into the room. Because I want her to be able to sleep in the same room with everybody else in the evenings I placed her bed in the bedroom.
Notice what that is plugged in right over her bed? It’s a Feliway® putting out those soothing vibes!
When Marla noticed that her bed wasn’t in the office and started crying for it I took her into the bedroom and placed her by her relocated sleeping spot. At first she was nervous, peering under the bed where JouJou hides out during the day.
It didn’t take long before she hopped in her bed taking a closer look at the diffuser.
Now you might be wondering, did this stuff work? Because to be honest I didn’t even know that such a thing existed let alone whether or not it could actually work. But the thing is it has worked SO WELL. Now unfortunately I don’t always have my fancy camera on me constantly to snap pretty pics of their progress but I have a few poorly shot signs of proof it’s working. Since we don’t have smell-o-vision computer monitors I can’t give you a whiff of how cat urine free the bedroom now is but I can give you some terribly shot cell phone pictures as evidence:
This was the first one. I had been putting on my make up with JouJou on the counter keeping me company. I left, came back and I guess Marla had been in the bathroom the whole time. She sauntered right on out of there and JouJou watched her but quickly returned to just hanging out on the counter. I snapped a pic quick as you please to document the exciting event!
And this is the BEST sign of change. JouJou was layng up on the bed cuddled up to Mr. Rob while we were watching TV. Marla hopped up on the bed and keeping a safe distance laid down . JouJou turned to look at her and they had a staring contest from about a foot and a half away from each other. There was no hissing or growling or even laid back ears or whipping tails. They just checked each other out for a bit and then JouJou fairly calmly got up and went to his hidden sanctuary under the bed. AMAZING.
Now these two guys aren’t best friends, yet, but to be fair we’ve only used the diffusers for about 2 weeks. But the progress we HAVE made is amazing and while Rob and I hadn’t heard of Feliway® before, we already trust in it and have ordered refills so that we don’t run out of this amazing stuff. We want our kitties to continue getting to know each other and it seems as though they will with this amazing calming force in the air.
Oh, and I’m not going around the bedroom all crazy eyed smelling everything made of fabric trying to locate the smell of cat pee at midnight anymore either. I can only assume that not dealing with crazy odor sniffing out me while he’s trying to sleep is something Rob is very thankful for!